Do you know what these new bees are?

Asked August 18, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

Has Coos County suddenly been invaded by a new variety of bees? We have suddenly been inundated with a bee that is larger than a normal honey bee. They are also a bit darker in their "butt" and tend to be aggressive, although they have not stung us or our pets as yet. But when I go out to work in our garden, they buzz and harass me so much I have to go inside. They fly fast and erratically (thus no photos to share). The other (normal) bees simply ignore me. These other bees also don't seem to be after the same food as the honey bees.

Coos County Oregon bee health bees lrk

2 Responses

We checked with the Coos County Beekeepers Association because they are very knowledgeable on local bees. Without having an actual bee to look at, it is difficult to properly answer this question. However, the beekeeper we spoke with thought it might possibly be a bald-faced hornet. He made no mention of similar "invasions" of bees in the area. It could be that you just have a hive somewhere near your garden and that's why you're suddenly inundated by them. If you would like us to try to identify the bee we would need a sample brought into our Extension Office in Myrtle Point. Please call or email us directly if you need further information. coos.mastergardener@oregonstate.edu or 541-572-5263, ext. 295

It is definitely NOT a bald faced hornet. We know what those look like. This is a bee of some sort, just bigger than a honey bee and somewhat darker. Will try to get a photo, but my husband does NOT kill insects, so without a "body" we are stumped.